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Take a Culinary Trip to Northern Africa at Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

Tilework at Epcot's Morocco Pavilion

Epcot might be my favorite Disney park. Sure, I love the Magic Kingdom for its nostalgia: nothing makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and filled with child-like wonder than stepping onto Main Street and gazing down at Cinderella’s castle. By comparison, Epcot is a bit more mature and exciting, a merging of my two favorite worlds: nerdy science projects and foods from far-off places.

After you work your way through the science- and technology-based Future World at the front of the park, you reach the World Showcase: an area representing the cultures and cuisines of 11 countries, all positioned along less than one linear mile. And this is why it’s a food enthusiast’s dream come true: it’s like an international smorgasbord. You can start your day with French crepes, then have burritos for lunch, maybe some pot stickers for a snack, fish and chips for dinner, and gelato for dessert. And everything’s merely feet away from each other.

To be honest, I probably find this so amazing because I don’t have such culinary opportunities at home. Both where I grew up and where I live now aren’t exactly hotbeds of interesting ethnic restaurants; in fact, the most adventurous international cuisine would probably be a Chinese restaurant. Granted, the addition of Biba to my town’s main street, as well as a Japanese restaurant that opened slightly before that, elevated my county’s international fare by like 200%, but they’re just two restaurants. And true, I can experience nearly every ethnic food I want in relatively nearby Pittsburgh, but that’s still a 45-minute drive. Did I mention that Epcot’s eateries are only feet away from each other?

But I digress. I have my favorites among the 11 pavilions, the ones I need to hit on every trip if I can fit it in the schedule (French pastries and Italian gelato, anyone?). Until now, Morocco wasn’t on that list; we had only dined in there once, many years ago. But as luck would have it, on this trip we ended up in Morocco on two separate occasions: one planned and one impromptu. And now it might be very near the top of that favorites list. Continue reading